UN: investigation into Rio de Janeiro police action, using unnecessary force

The police action in Rio de Janeiro yesterday used unnecessary violence, says the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. In the action in the Brazilian millionth city, 25 people were killed, including a cop. The UN calls for an investigation.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International Brazil has also responded. The director calls the action reprehensible and unjustifiable.

Today, hundreds of people went out to the streets to protest:

Yesterday the police invaded the Jacarezinho district with armored vehicles and accompanied by helicopters. There was a firefight that resulted in a massacre. Never before were so many deaths in a police campaign against drug abuse in the city. Gang members tried to flee over the rooftops of the houses. Ten gang members were arrested.

The police leader is defending the action. According to the police, drug trafficking in poor neighbourhoods, also known as favelas, has gotten out of hand. Rio de Janeiro, like many other major cities in Brazil, has been struggling with powerful drug gangs for decades that determine what happens in the favelas.

Last year, the highest Brazilian court ruled that police actions in favelas due to the coronapandemic should be suspended unless they are deemed absolutely necessary.